If you are a local company with a website, you have likely heard the term “Local SEO Solutions” thrown around in more than one marketing pitch. The term SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is one of the most important marketing concepts there is.
SEO was believed to have originated around the same time the first website emerged in 1991. While it is still a fairly new concept, it has drastically evolved overtime and will continue to do so. Search engines were created out of a demand for organization and structure for the new popular concept of having a website. In 1996 when BackRub, what we now call Google, was born and SEO took off and now has the potential to produce a higher ROI than any other marketing effort.
If you have been pitched SEO in a Marketing sales meeting, you likely know what it is and why you need it, but there is often a disconnect about exactly how SEO is implemented and what you receive after signing up. Our goal in this article is to educate you on the behind the scenes side of SEO so you not only know what you are getting, but also what to look for in reporting and what questions to ask. Below is insight to our ever evolving SEO Strategy.
Audit & Initial Set Up
Every SEO client first undergoes an SEO audit which includes website inspection, analysis of the current list of keywords you rank for and typically a lengthy competitor analysis. After the audit stage, the research begins. Our SEO team does extensive keyword research and narrows down about 10 keywords to start with. Title tags, meta descriptions, image alt tags and on site content are then optimized to include these keywords. Other implementation items include: setting up google analytics, setting up google search console, sitemap submission, making sure page structures include proper headings, favicons, permalinks, and several other “techy” terms you likely have little interest in. For a full list of SEO deliverables, contact us!
Ongoing Content Creation
Content is King for search engines. Producing new fresh content keeps you on search engine radars and lets them know you are working to keep your website up to date and provide relevant information to their customers (searchers). Properly optimizing these content pages lets search engines know what the content is about and for what search terms we want it to show up in search results pages. The frequency of content varies, but we strive to push out weekly content for SEO clients either through landing pages or blog posts. With search engines, it’s quality over quantity. One of our favorite strategies is to actually do a Google search on terms we are trying to rank for and inspect the types of content already ranking for those terms. Producing content that Google already deems worthy of a page one ranking – be it brand comparisons, case studies, lists, product pages, etc. is more likely to be in the running for those spots early on.
Backlink strategies include two parts: 1. Acquiring new links and 2. Managing existing links. I know, that sounds obvious, right? Obvious, maybe; easy? Not so much. Backlink strategies are typically the most time consuming part of SEO. Each of our backlink campaigns run around 90 days and are rolled out in three stages.
Stage one is a link audit. All links are examined and any toxic or unhealthy links are removed.
Stage two is outreach. Our team analyzes websites across the country that are in your industry and seeks out opportunities for those sites to link to yours. Like with content, quality is more important than quantity. A bunch of links from spammy or low authority domains can potentially hurt your rankings rather than help. (We have tools to help us with these determining factors). Stage two includes contacting site owners and pitching the opportunity in hopes that they will link to your content. Note that the best way to receive links is by producing content that is worthy of linking to! For more information on this, check out our article: “Should you focus on links or content for SEO strategy?”
Stage Three is management of links and progress. Once you acquire a link, you keep it on your radar to ensure it stays and that the linking party’s site remains a healthy one.
Rinse and Repeat.
Internal Site Linking
While links from other websites are important, it’s also important to provide internal links from your own website. An example would be incorporating a link to a previous blog post like I did earlier in this post. Linking from a page that already ranks well will help increase rankings for the page you are linking to.
Site errors are often overlooked. Search engines are extremely complex and take way more into consideration than you would expect. Simple things like how fast your website loads, if it’s mobile friendly, if it’s user friendly, if there are broken links or improper redirects, duplicate content, etc. all factor into where you rank in search results pages. We do weekly site performance audits and categorize any issues into three categories: errors which should be fixed immediately, warnings that should be worked on throughout the month, and Notices that simply stay on our radar.
As you are starting to see, SEO is not an overnight thing. SEO is a long haul commitment and how long it takes to gain authority and get to where you want to be in search results is dependent on several moving parts, including your site health at the start of SEO efforts. While it takes time, you should see steady improvement over time. If you are already receiving SEO services, we encourage you to ask for detailed reporting that shows visuals on progress in the number of keywords you rank for, what your ranks are, as well as organic traffic you receive. Be sure to ask questions and make sure their efforts achieve your goal in an organically healthy way. If you are not currently receiving SEO services, we would love to assist you! Contact us for your free SEO audit. Overtime, when done properly, SEO is extremely profitable!